My 2016 Reading List

Someone asked for my reading list this year. I always seem to have a stack of unread books around, but I hadn’t ever really made a list. It sounded like a good idea.. So, in no particular order, here’s what I’d like to tackle this year:

The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver

The author is the statistician who successfully forecast the 2008 presidential election results in 49 of 50 states. He also created the widely read FiveThirtyEight blog, which was picked up by the New York Times. This book tackles the risk predictions that fed into the 2008 financial crisis, details stats in a few other applications, and then spends several chapters discussing Bayes’ theorem. I’m already a couple chapters in and it has been fascinating so far.


The Art of Community by Jono Bacon

I’m hoping to build a community around some of the projects I spend most of my time on at the University. I’m hoping this book will help guide those efforts.

Cracking the Code Interview

The crazy interview coding questions always make me nervous. I should probably get better and handling them, and brush up on my data structures basics — especially if I ever want to get hired somewhere else. This book seems like the best/most-popular of the bunch.


The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

War stories and morality tales from the programming trenches. I’m sure I know some of the advice given in this book (e.g. “use version control for even the smallest projects”), but I’m also certain there’s lots more to learn. I’m a firm believer that one should always work towards perfecting a craft, and this book will hopefully help in that endeavour.


Flash Boys

A switch away from programming topics, this book tells the story of High Frequency Trading on Wall St. It was a bestseller a few years ago.. I’m a bit late to the party. However, this one still feels like it’s relevant to today’s markets.


Machine Learning for Hackers

Because Machine Learning is all the rage these days. But seriously, I’d like to know even more about machine learning and data mining. It’s the future of how people will expect software to deal with data (even regular-sized data).


The Shape of Design

Published a few years ago, this has become a highly recommended text on design. It’s a bit more abstract in that it covers the why of design instead of the how. I’ve been interested in it since the initial printing was crowdfunded, but never had a chance to pick it up.

Station Eleven

A solid sci-fi novel to throw in amongst all the non-fiction. It’s been a bestseller, and depicts life after a deadly pandemic. I rarely read novels, but occasionally I feel the need for something less educational and more plain-old-good-story.


…And that’s probably an ambitious enough list for this year.